Malaysia’s Anwar stakes claim but palace says no list of MPs' names

Malaysia's king, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah (left), and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim inside the Royal Palace in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 13, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE/MALAYSIAN NATIONAL PALACE
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim speaking during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 13, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the end of a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 13, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's opposition leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, on Tuesday (Oct 13) said he has presented documentation proving his claim of a majority in Parliament to the King, with the ruler now expected to make a decision in the coming days based on the evidence submitted to him.

Mr Anwar, the president of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and MP for Port Dickson, said he has the backing of more than 120 lawmakers in the 222-member Parliament, and therefore, it would be "appropriate" for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign, considering the latter had lost his majority in Malaysia's Lower House.

"With these documents, it is abundantly clear that we have registered a formidable convincing majority among parliamentarians," Mr Anwar said.

A statement, issued by the palace minutes after Mr Anwar's press conference, said that in his 25-minute audience with the King, Mr Anwar presented the total number of MPs who allegedly supported him.

But Mr Anwar did not furnish the names of the lawmakers to strengthen his claim, said the statement issued by the Comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin.

In this regard, Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin has advised Mr Anwar to abide and respect the legal processes as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Still, Sultan Abdullah will now call the heads of parties to verify the claims made by Mr Anwar.

Umno veteran leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah met with the King on Tuesday afternoon and left without speaking to reporters.

News portal Malaysiakini reported that Democratic Action Party secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Malaysian Indian Congress president S.A. Vigneswaran have also received invitations to the palace.

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said in a short one-minute video that he is not endorsing any individuals, and that his new party, Pejuang, remains independent.

At a press conference later in the evening, Tan Sri Muhyiddin declined to comment on the meeting between the King and Mr Anwar, saying he wanted to focus on managing the Covid-19 pandemic and the country's economy.

Mr Anwar said the King assured him he would respect the Constitution, and the issue of a snap election did not arise.

"Today is not the day of victory, or a day of loss for anyone," Mr Anwar said during a press conference after his audience with the King on Tuesday morning.

He also urged Malaysians to give space to the ruler to exercise his discretion and be given adequate time to study the documents and consult party leaders.

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